The k-drama industry has been gaining international fame and popularity. This year many new k-dramas have focused on many social issues such as mental health, bullying, friendship, etc. Many new faces have been receiving recognition among the actors as a Hallyu Star (which means Korean Celebrity who has influenced the entertainment industry). Let’s look at these stars who have taken over the Korean Entertainment Industry.
1. Cha Eun-Woo
Lee Dong Min, who professionally goes by his stage name Cha Eun-woo. He is a part of the six-member group Astro. Whether it is singing, acting, or being part of variety shows, he has shown versatility and talent in both. His journey as an actor started in 2014 in ‘My Brilliant Life.’
He played the role of ‘Ahreum,’ the progeria syndrome-ridden son of the characters played by actors Song Hye-Kyo and Gang Dong-won. He appeared in the web drama continued, Sweet Revenge, Top Management.
His first lead role was My ID is Gangnam Beauty, where he played the role of a college student and Rookie Historian Hoo Hae Ryung. His most recent drama ‘True Beauty,’ has received positive reviews as it talks about issues such as bullying.
2. Ahn Hyo-Seop
Born in Korea but spent half of his childhood living in Canada, Ahn Hyo-seop can speak English and Korean, and he also goes by his English name Paul Ahn. He was a trainee at JYP and was a member of the group One o One.
Ahn Hyo Seop made his acting debut in the drama Splash Splash Love. He then became a cast member in the music variety show called; Always Cantare. He has also played supporting roles in One more happy ending, Happy Home, and Entertainer in 2016.
In 2017 he appeared in the drama My Father Is Strange and Queen of the Rings, where he began getting more recognition. Then appeared in the YouTube series Top Management alongside Cha Eun-woo and Still 17 in 2018. He played the lead role in the drama Abyss, Dr. Romantic 2. Now his new drama Lovers of the red sky is being aired on SBS.
3. Song Kang
He first made his acting debut in Liar and His Lover. He joined as a fixed cast member of the variety show Village Survival, the Eight. In 2019, he played the supporting role in When the Devil Calls Your Name.
In 2020 he got his first lead role in the Netflix series Love Alarm based on a webtoon; this series got renewed for another season. He starred in another Netflix series Sweet Home which was about apocalyptic horror. Song Kang portrayed the role of ballet in the drama Navillera. He took ballet classes for six months to show the character with emotions.
In 2021, he starred in the drama; nevertheless, his character is an art student Park Jae-won alongside Han So Hee. Song Kang has played characters from genres or styles, making him a versatile actor.
Kim Seok Woo goes by his stage name Rowoon. His name was given to him by his grandfather; the meaning of his name is to help others, as he wanted his grandson to grow up to be someone who helps others.
Rowoon is the lead vocalist of the K-Pop band SF-9 and one of the tallest K-Pop idols. Rowoon made his first acting debut in School in 2017. He then played his first lead role in the drama Extraordinary You, adapted from a webtoon. His recent drama She Would Never know received a lot of positive reviews.
5. Lee Jae- Wook
He made his first debut in the drama Memories of the Alhambra. He played the second lead role in the drama Extraordinary You. He played his first leading role in Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol alongside actress Go Ara.
He made a cameo appearance in the drama ‘true beauty’ where he played the role of his character, Baek Kyung, from Extraordinary you. He gets set to make a comeback in a new drama called Return.
6. Lee Do Hyun
Lim Dong-Hyun goes by his stage name Lee Do Hyun. He made his first acting debut in the drama Prison Playbook, then appeared in dramas such as Still 17 and Clean with Passion as a supporting character. Lee Do Hyun started gaining popularity during his cameo appearance in Hotel Del Luna. He played his first lead role in the drama 18 Again, which adapts to the American movie 17 Again. From there onwards, Lee played a lead role in Sweet home. In his latest drama, Youth of May, he played the role of a doctor Hwang Hee-Tae. The drama talks about the 1980’s Gwangju Uprising. Now he is currently filming his new drama, Melancholia.
7. Hwang In Yeop
He started his career as a model under the YG company. He started his acting career in 2018 in a web series called Why and appeared in another web series Freshman. He played a supporting role in the drama the Tale of Nokdu.
In 2019 the American movie 18 Again was remade into a drama 17 Again, where Hwang In Yeop played the main character Goo Ja Sung, a basketball player who happens to be his School’s bully. He then played the role of Han Seojun in True Beauty; he sang one of the OST It Starts Today. Now set to make a comeback in the drama The sound of magic.
8. Kim Young Dae
He made his debut in a web drama Secret Crushes: Special Edition. He then appeared in many web dramas – Just Too Bored, What to Do with You, It’s Okay To Be Sensitive, Office Watch 2.
In 2019 he played his first lead role in the drama Extraordinary You and made a cameo appearance in Welcome to Waikiki 2. He then appeared in the drama When the Weather is Fine and Cheat on Me, If You Can in 2020.
His role as Joo Seok-hoon in the drama series Penthouse has dramatically appreciated his acting skills. The Penthouse series has received one of the highest viewership rates and has three seasons. He is currently shooting his new drama Shooting star.
Kang Chang Hee goes by the stage name Chani. He is the youngest member of the boy group Sf9. Even before his career as an Idol, Chani was already a child model and actor. His first role was in the drama Queen Seondeok. He then appeared in many dramas – Listen to My Heart, Garden of Heaven, Innocent Man and then in 2016, he was cast in the drama Click your Heart with his then group Neo School. In 2018 he appeared in the drama Sky Castle where he played the role of Hwang Woo-Joo. This drama became one of the most high-rated viewership dramas in k-drama history. He then appeared in the dramas – Once Again, True Beauty. Then in 2021, he played a supporting character in Imitation. At present, he will be making a comeback in a lead role in the drama Miracle.
10. Chae Jong Hyeop
Chae Jong Hyeop lived in South Africa for three years, where he worked as a model before coming back to South Korea. He first debuted with a minor role in the 2016 MBC drama Webtoon Hero – Tundra Show. He starred in several web series, namely Between Friends and No Bad Days in 2017 and the office thriller Rumor in 2019. He appeared as supporting characters in many TV dramas such as Come Hug Me, Hot Stove League, Sisyphus: The Myth. His first lead role was in the drama.
Nevertheless, he played the role of a chef who is also a YouTuber. He received the nickname potato boy in this drama Nevertheless. His recent drama The Witch’s Diner is currently one of the most popular dramas of the year.